Energy department policy makes district councils lead authority on locating waste dumps, which Cumbria county council says abandons big society. The government has been accused of “astonishingly undemocratic” behaviour after it moved to cut out county councils from deciding the site of a national nuclear waste dump. The stinging criticism came from the leaders of Cumbria county council, who have been sidelined months after scuppering ministers’ plans by voting against a £12bn high-level waste repository near the Sellafield nuclear complex. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has published a policy document that makes clear the lead authority in the decision-making process for locating a waste dump – or geological disposal facility (GDF) – is now the district council. A site near Sellafield was given the green light last time by Copel and and Allerdale borough councils before being voted down by the cabinet of the county council in a major setback for the government last January. Stuart Young, a Labour councillor and current leader of Cumbria county council, said: “We are very concerned that we as the waste and strategic planning authority have no real say in the final decision on a GDF. It looks like the government did not like the [negative] result of the last vote and has moved to exclude us from future decisions.” Eddie Martin, a Conservative who led the county council when it took the decision against a repository, said the government’s action was “astonishingly undemocratic”. But Baroness Verma, an energy minister, insisted local democracy is being strengthened rather than diluted with county councils still playing a “really important role” in the consultation and planning processes. Baroness Verma indicated that it would still be possible to give the go-ahead to an operator to build a new power plant such as one at Hinkley Point in Somerset before the repository plan proceeded, because new plants would have to deal with their own waste.
Guardian 12th Sept 2013 read more »
Chemical Engineer 12th Sept 2013 read more »
Energy Live News 12th Sept 2013 read more »
Two district councils in Cumbria have said they will be considering their responses to the revised nuclear waste repository search process. The government has announced that district authorities will lead the decision on where to store high level radioactive waste. Copeland and Allerdale councils were previously willing to be considered. However, in January they were over-ruled by the county council, stopping the search for a site going further. The Department for Energy and Climate Change has outlined a new process, which allows communities represented by a district council to participate on their own.
BBC 12th Sept 2013 read more »
The Government has reopened the debate on a proposed nuclear dump, potentially allowing Copeland and Allerdale to put their names forward to host an underground repository again. The new consultation – which the Government says could allow areas to be represented by the most local competent authority, such as the district authority – closes in December before applications go in next year. Copeland and Allerdale had to abandon their previous attempts to register an interest when the county council refused to back it. Today’s announcement appears to suggest the county council would not be able to veto any district plans.
Whitehaven News 12th Sept 2013 read more »
News & Star 12th Sept 2013 read more »
North West Evening Mail 13th Sept 2013 read more »
The Government is clearing the way for West Cumbria to again bid to host an underground nuclear dump. Just seven months after senior councillors quashed contentious plans, the area is to be given a second chance to revive the project. The Department for Energy and Climate Change is expected to announce today (Thursday) the launch of a new national consultation process. It is understood that any area interested in putting its name forward can do so – meaning that Copeland and Allerdale councils can once again look into the possibility.
Whitehaven News 12th Sept 2013 read more »
Government today launched a consultation on a revised proposed process for working with communities in order to agree a site for a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF). The multi-billion pound facility would be used to dispose of higher activity radioactive waste safely underground. This would provide a permanent solution for the disposal of existing legacy waste, and waste from new nuclear power stations.
DECC 12th Sept 2013 read more »
Cumbria County Council has issued a cross-party response to the announcement from the Department of Energy & Climate Change that it is starting a new 12-week consultation on the best way to engage communities in the process of managing the storage of high-level radioactive waste.
Cumbria County Council 12th Sept 2013 read more »
The plan appears to be to rule Cumbria County Council out of the picture and concentrate on buying off Allerdale and Copeland Borough Councils. This smashes underfoot the democratic vote of the majority of Parishes within Allerdale and Copeland who have already said NO. These Parishes make up the Borough Councils whose leaders are then nobbled. And of course the evil reach of this diabolic plan to dump hot reactor cores under Cumbria’s leaky geology is of far greater scope than the borders of Allerdale and Copeland.
Radiation Free Lakeland 12th Sept 2013 read more »
GMB Says The Best Long-Term Solution Is To Manage Nuclear Waste At Sellafield As Government Announces Consultation To Find Site If the current consultation is successful then government should start talking to union about a proper strategy for the nuclear industry in the UK with Sellafield at its centre says GMB. GMB, the union for nuclear industry workers, commented on the announcement today (12th September) of the launch of a public consultation on the site selection process for a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) for higher activity radioactive waste, as part of the Managing Radioactive Safely (MRWS) programme. See notes to editors for announcement by Department of Energy and Climate Change.
GMB 12th Sept 2013 read more »
The consultation process which will eventually decide where nuclear waste from Plymouth submarines is disposed of has begun. The Government today launched a consultation on a process for working with communities to agree a site for a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF).
Plymouth Herald 12th Sept 2013 read more »
Copeland MP Jamie Reed has welcomed the launch of a consultation on the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely siting process.
ITV 12th Sept 2013 read more »
Foreign investors are showing significant interest in developing nuclear projects in the UK, and the incoming contract for difference (CFD) subsidy mechanism should provide investors with more “certainty”, minister of state for energy and business Michael Fallon said. Investors from Japan, France, Canada, South Korea, China and Russia have expressed interest in developing UK nuclear projects, Fallon said at the World Nuclear Association conference in London today. The energy minister earlier this week agreed an initial deal with Russian nuclear company Rosatom to study building and maintaining nuclear power plants in the UK, with plants of 1,000-1,200MW capacity planned. Japanese engineering firm Hitachi has indicated that it would be interested in nuclear opportunities, although the company’s nuclear energy chief operating officer Jay Wileman called upon the UK government to implement a “more predictable structure” for investors. London welcomes foreign investment, and the incoming CFD mechanism will encourage interest and provide market stability and certainty for investors, Fallon said.
Argus Media 12th Sept 2013 read more »
Three bidders have been shortlisted for the multibillion-pound contract to build Hitachi’s £10bn nuclear power station at Wylfa in Wales, Building can reveal. The Japanese firm, which bought the Horizon nuclear power project last October, is seeking a contractor for the main civils job on the project, thought to be worth around £2.5bn. Building understands just three bidders are left in the race for the contract: a joint venture between Kier and Bam Nuttall; the Construct Energy consortium comprising Costain, Sir Robert McAlpine, Hochtief and Heitkamp; and Balfour Beatty, which is bidding alone. It is understood that Carillion and Laing O’Rourke were initially in the frame for the job, as separate bidders, but dropped out. The bidders are due to fly to Japan later this month to pitch to Hitachi and learn more about the construction of its reactors. Hitachi currently has a power plant undergoing construction in Ōma, in northern Japan.
Building 13th Sept 2013 read more »
A decision to exclude a watchdog group from a meeting about the Sizewell emergency plan is helping to destroy public confidence in the independence of the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), according to the group’s chairperson. Marianne Fellowes, chair of the Sizewell Stakeholder Group (SSG), said she was very disappointed that the ONR had refused to allow an observer to attend the meeting – about the future extent of the area around the nuclear site for which detailed emergency plans should be formulated. The existing zone extends to 2.4kilometres and excludes most of the built-up area of Leiston. The ONR meeting was attended by officials from EDF Energy, owner of Sizewell B, and Magnox Electric, in charge of decommissioning work at Sizewell A, as well as a delegate from Suffolk County Council. Both EDF and Magnox believe the existing zone is adequate for the risk involved. However, the SSG and a significant number of people who responded to a county council consultation believe the radius should be extended to at least 4km – in line with international guidelines following the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan.
East Anglian Daily Times 12th Sept 2013 read more »
Despite fears to the contrary, children who live near nuclear power plants have no greater risk of developing leukaemia or a type of cancer known as non-Hodgkin lymphoma, according to a large British study published on Friday.Researchers who studied some 10,000 children aged under 5 and analysed birth records for nearly every case of childhood leukaemia in Britain from 1962 to 2007 found no apparent extra risk from living near an atomic power station.John Bithell of the Childhood Cancer Research Group, who led the study, noted there have been concerns about child leukaemia near nuclear plants in Britain since the 1980s, when a television programme reported an excess of cancer in children near the Sellafield plant in north-west England.There have since been conflicting reports in Britain and other European countries about whether children living near such reactors are at greater risk of developing childhood cancers.A study on Germany, published in 2007, did find a significantly increased risk. But a 35-year-long survey in Britain by the Committee on the Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment, published in 2001, found no evidence that living near nuclear plants increased the incidence of children developing leukaemia.Bithell said the findings of his research, published in the British Journal of Cancer, should be reassure the public.
Reuters 13th Sept 2013 read more »
Scotsman 13th Sept 2013 read more »
BBC 13th Sept 2013 read more »
A coalition of environmental charities has launched a strongly-worded attack on the Liberal Democrats, accusing the party of rapidly losing its identity as the mainstream green party. In their first joint political assessment since the Tories came to power in May 2010, seven charities including RSPB, Greenpeace and WWF have combined forces to give a largely-damning verdict on all three of the big political parties. They criticise David Cameron for failing to address what they describe as a growing scepticism about climate change in the Conservative Party and attack George Osborne for “framing environmental policy as an obstacle to growth, not as a route to prosperity”. And they say that Labour has given “no sense that the environment is at the heart” of the party. But the green alliance, which also includes the Wildlife Trusts and Friends o f the Earth, reserves its strongest criticism for the Liberal Democrats. The alliance said this is because the party has most closely aligned itself with green causes and because Nick Clegg told the Liberal Democrat conference last year that “We will hold [the Conservatives] to their promises on the environment.”
Independent 13th Sept 2013 read more »
Guardian 13th Sept 2013 read more »
Times 13th Sept 2013 read more »
Tory campaigners on climate change are embarking on a fightback against sceptics on the right of the party who have tried to “smother” debate in recent months, according to party sources. On the eve of a damning judgment by the Green Alliance on the Tories’ record in government, Conservatives alarmed by the threat of climate change are pledging that they will not be “rolled over” by sceptics. But the green Tories acknowledge that as they move on from the era when David Cameron rode with huskies on a visit to a Norwegian glacier in 2006, they need to recalibrate their message to respond to consumers struggling with rising energy bills. “People don’t want the green economy to live in a bubble,” one source said. A first step in the fightback is being taken by Greg Barker, the climate change minister, who writes in a Guardian article that the government will help drive down energy costs by prising open the energy market to challenge the “big six” suppliers. “The big six need to become the big 60,000,” Barker writes. “This is a vision that happily unites the drive to get a better deal for hard-pressed consumers with ambitions for a greener, more local energy sector. To achieve this we need a new generation of energy entrepreneurs and disruptive, local new entrants.”
Guardian 12th Sept 2013 read more »
Greg Barker: We can achieve a cleaner, more decentralised energy sector. But environmentalists should recognise that gas is part of the answer. I have stated that my personal ambition is to see over 20GW of solar deployed in the UK by the next decade. We could achieve that huge figure by covering just 14% of our industrial and commercial roof spaces with increasingly efficient solar photovoltaic panels. But solar is not the only technology we need to deploy with greater ambition. The UK is bursting with innovation across a range of energy technologies. Combined heat and power (CHP) plants, particularly in larger industrial, commercial and retail premises could also help supersize our local energy economies. If CHP can work in Slough business park, at British Sugar in Norfolk, at Waitrose in Bracknell or in the heart of Sheffield, Birmingham and even in Whitehall, it can work anywhere. Thanks to falling costs and innovation, if approached with sufficient financial rigour, affordable big expansion of small energy is achievable. We can build the big 60,000. Success will require the government as an active partner in growth. But the prize is growth, jobs, economic resilience, a better deal for the consumer, a cleaner, greener, safer environment and energy security. Doesn’t that sound like a Conservative agenda?
Guardian 12th Sept 2013 read more »
ONE of Sellafield’s biggest trade unions is calling for an inquiry after it emerged bosses at the plant had used company expenses to pay for golfing trips, expensive meals – and a £714 chauffeur for a cat. The scandal has emerged after information on 606 expenses documents for executives at Nuclear Management Partners, Sellafield Ltd’s parent body, were released.
Whitehaven News 10th Sept 2013 read more »
Letter Ruth Ballogh: As a life-long trade union member and enthusiastic supporter of the movement, I was sad to see the blinkered vision from the Unite union’s nuclear industry campaign. We do not face an economic wilderness without the new developments they are demanding. According to Cumbria Vision, the current 10,000 jobs at Sellafield will take 14 years to fall by 1,800 without new-build. The whole new-build programme is facing problems over financing, and in any case West Cumbria is low on the list because most energy demand is in the South East. MOX is not a solution to the build-up of plutonium. Fukushima means that there are now no customers for this fuel. More seriously there is potential for spent plutonium to be used for nuclear weapons, now a heightened security risk because the main threat is from terrorist activity, not from a superpower. And there remains the possibility of catastrophic accident. It should be immobilised beyond use, a feasible solution which is by far the safest.
Whitehaven News 12th Sept 2013 read more »
A newly published report praises OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) member countries for identifying and implementing nuclear safety enhancements following the Fukushima accident, but warns that learning the lessons from Fukushima must be an ongoing process.The report, The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident: OECD/NEA Nuclear Safety Response and Lessons Learnt, outlines and analyses the actions taken by the organization’s member countries in response to the 2011 accident at the Japanese plant. It provides key messages for ensuring high levels of nuclear safety going forward.
World Nuclear News 11th Sept 2013 read more »
Nuclear authorities will often green light plant life extension if managers have kept a close tab over the decades on plant conditions. Rob Bollen, senior engineer for ageing management at EPZ, the company that runs the Netherlands Borssele plant, offers his insights.
Nuclear Energy Insider 10th Sept 2013 read more »
The European Commission wants to revive the nuclear industry. It is currently preparing state aid for the construction of new nuclear power plants – funding that, to date, has been exclusively targeted at protecting the environment by investing in renewable energies. The new state aid rules would enable EU member states to grant subsidies to all energy forms designated as low carbon. To award nuclear power preferential treatment enjoyed by wind, solar and other renewables on the basis of its allegedly low-carbon status is outrageous. The nuclear industry is fighting for survival. Without these subsidies the currently planned nuclear power plants are not economically viable, their huge construction costs deterring investors. So tax payers are to be forced to step in and pay for nuclear power plants including Hinkley Point C in the UK and Temelin 3 and 4 in the Czech Republic. SIGN THE PETITION NOW and tell the EU Commissioners that you refuse to fund the next Fukushima.
My Voice 12th Sept 2013 read more »
The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs will set up an international group concerning water issues at Fukushima Daiichi, with one priority being enhanced global communication. A new “intergovernmental liaison office” is to be established near the damaged power plant, in conjunction with an “intergovernmental council for coordination.” One of the priorities will be “prevention of reputational damage or misinformation, reinforcement of global communications.” The initiative by the government comes from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) instead of the usual department responsible for Fukushima clean-up, the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry. It follows a period of media attention on various leaks, hot spots and groundwater issues, none of which had an off-site impact, but nevertheless recieved intense and worrying coverage in international media. This even forced prime minister Shinzo Abe to reassure the International Olympic Committee that the plant would present no risk to people attending the Olympic Games in 2020, should Tokyo’s bid be successful.
World Nuclear News 5th Sept 2013 read more »
The radioactive water leaking into the sea from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has developed into a scandal, drawing media attention from around world in the past few weeks. Despite the screaming headlines, however, a critical question remains unanswered: Just how much danger does the contaminated water pose to human health? Jota Kanda, a professor at Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, has some insight to offer. “Compared with the release of radioactive materials in the initial stage (of the crisis), the amount of material now is overwhelmingly small,” the expert on maritime movement of radioactive substances said in a recent interview with The Japan Times. “This is not something that has a big impact on fish in the sea,” Kanda said. The real threat is not the 300 tons of toxic water flowing into the Pacific each day, but the highly radioactive water sitting in the more than 1,000 huge tanks on land, Kanda argued. “I understand it’s quite important to try to stop the groundwater (from flowing into the sea). But I’m far more concerned about the tanks,” he said. “We still have extremely contaminated water in those tanks. In that sense, we are in a crisislike situation.” Tepco filters out most of the cesium-137 from the cooling water before storing it, but huge amounts of strontium, tritium and other dangerous materials remain in the roughly 340,000 tons of water still sitting in 1,060 tanks, Kanda pointed out. If several of the tanks were breached in an accident or new natural disaster, all of that water would go directly into the sea, with catastrophic results, he emphasized.
Japan Times 12th Sept 2013 read more »
In just three days, readings of tritium in groundwater near the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant have soared more than 15 times, the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant admitted. Results of recently tested water taken from the well some 20 meters south from a number of storage tanks have showed that levels of tritium have now reached 64,000 becquerels per liter. Back on September 9, the level of tritium – a potentially dangerous radioactive isotope – from the same location stood at 29,000 compared to 4,200 becquerels per liter on Sunday. On Monday a new hotspot of radiation was detected in groundwater from an observation well next to a faulty water storage tank. Some 3,200 becquerels per liter of radioactive substances were recorded in the well.
Russia Today 12th Sept 2013 read more »
North Korea appears to have restarted a reactor capable of producing weapons-grade plutonium, according to analysis of satellite imagery and a US official. White steam can be seen rising from a building near the hall housing steam turbines and electric generators at Yongbyon nuclear complex in an image taken on 31 August, said the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Guardian 12th Sept 2013 read more »
Independent 12th Sept 2013 read more »
Telegraph 12th Sept 2013 read more »
Herald 13th Sept 2013 read more »
Huffington Post 12th Sept 2013 read more »
International Herald Tribune 13th Sept 2013 read more »
Westinghouse Electric Company has secured a contract for dismantling and segmentation of the Jose Cabrera nuclear power station, also known as Zorita, in Spain. Awarded by the Empresa Nacional de Residuos Radiactivos (ENRESA), the Spanish agency responsible for radioactive waste management and nuclear plant decommissioning, the contract covers segmentation of Zorita’s reactor vessel head (RVH) and reactor vessel (RV), including the up-front engineering studies.
Energy Business Review 13th June 2013 read more »
She and many of her neighbours along Lake Huron’s eastern shore are campaigning against a $1-billion plan by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to bury low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste in a deep geologic repository (DGR) at the Bruce site, a facility that would be built just two kilometres from her home and only a kilometre from the lake itself.
Globe and Mail 12th Sept 2013 read more »
Iran’s new envoy to the United Nations atomic agency said Thursday that Tehran had a “strong political will” to engage with the international community over its nuclear programme.
Middle East Online 12th Sept 2013 read more »
Iran’s conservatives silent as Rouhani puts nuclear talks on diplomatic footing.
Guardian 12th Sept 2013 read more »
Audit Scotland has said that there is clear strategy to achieve the country’s 30% renewable target by 2020 and make Scotland become a world leader in clean energy. The Audit has claimed in a report that Scotland has made steady progress in public investment, funding renewable energy projects with Â£264 million. However, the Audit said that the government needs to get more investment from the private sector and work with other public bodies.
Blue Green Tomorrow 12th Sept 2013 read more »
The rate that green power projects are coming online needs to double to meet renewable targets, auditors have said. Ministers want Scotland to generate an equivalent of 100% of electricity demand from renewable energy by 2020. Audit Scotland said meeting targets would be challenging but the Scottish government does have a clear strategy. The government said it was on course to meet interim targets but acknowledged economic conditions had seen projects progress more slowly than anticipated. Public sector spending on renewables in the past 10 years totals £209m. An industry body said this was matched by £1.5bn investment in 2012 alone. The Audit Scotland report looked at public sector investment and what has been delivered to date.
BBC 12th Sept 2013 read more »